Suman Prasad

The star hotels in India have been closed for over two months since the lockdown was first announced in India. While the resumption of home delivery services have given a sense of normalcy to these chain of hotels, the major portion of revenue if far from reality, the source of which has been business and leisure travelers from the across the world.

While the luxury hotels await the guidelines from central and state governments, which is expected in next few days, they are preparing to embrace the new normal. They have listed various health and safety measures for both in-house and dining guests along with their staffs.

Reinforcing its globally acknowledged Responsible Luxury ethos, ITC Hotels announced the launch of its ‘WeAssure’ initiative. The discerning guests of ITC Hotels will be reassured by an accreditation by National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers (NABH), the leading standards organisation for sanitation, hygiene, safety and infection control practices.

ITC Hotels is also partnering with DNV GL Business Assurance, one of the world’s leading certification bodies, to ensure stringent clinical levels of hygiene and safety.

Star Hotels Are Prepared To Reopen With Extensive Health And Safety Measures 2

ITC Ltd Executive Director Nakul Anand said these assurance certifications will stand testimony to the rigorous hygiene protocol being put in place to ensure the safety of guests and associates at ITC Hotels, across India.

“‘WeAssure’ is a holistic programme that addresses all facets of hotel operations, from revised protocols for back of the house activity at the receiving store, back offices, laundry to the public areas with heightened sanitization measures for guest luggage, elevators to room service,” said ITC Ltd Executive Director Nakul Anand.

ITC Ltd Executive Director Nakul Anand said the stringent program specifications reassure guests of visibly stringent cleanliness and disinfection processes which benchmark clinically hygienic standards, offering guests’ unparalleled comfort with peace of mind.

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts have partnered with Johns Hopkins Medicine International to validate its new global health and safety program, ‘Lead With Care’, and provide ongoing, real-time guidance on the evolving COVID-19 situation.

Each Four Seasons property is appointing a Hygiene Officer focused on implementing enhancements to already stringent procedures. All their rooms will be disinfected daily with EPA approved products and will have blacklight inspection by room attendants. Lead with Care kits will also be placed in each guest room providing masks, hand sanitizer and sanitization wipes, with additional masks supplied on demand.

Social distancing measures will be embedded in all services for guest protection at Four Seasons properties, including appropriately spaced fitness equipment, modified spa menu and services, contactless check-in and housekeeping services. Restaurants and bars may operate with reduced capacity to ensure adequate space and socially distant set-up. Nearly all restaurants will provide a-la-carte service with digital menus wherever possible. Also, their In-room dining will offer contactless delivery outside guestrooms along with sustainable, single-use packaging.

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts Global Operations President Christian Clerc said while the Four Seasons experience may look different in this new environment, it will ultimately feel the same.


“Our dedicated people will continue to deliver the same intuitive service and personalised care for which Four Seasons is known and trusted for the world over,” said Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts Global Operations President Christian Clerc.

The Oberoi Group has collaborated with Bureau Veritas, a world leader in laboratory testing, inspection and certification services to validate and review their program. Bureau Veritas will also undertake various virtual and in person training sessions to supervise the implementation of the Hygiene & Safety Standards at Oberoi and Trident hotels.

Restaurants across Oberoi properties will ensure safe distancing with necessary safety precautions without diminishing the dining experience of guests. Meals can also be enjoyed by guests in the comfort and privacy of guest rooms, suites and function rooms.


“At The Oberoi Group, we have always prioritised the health and safety of our guests and colleagues and have been working relentlessly to welcome guests back at our hotels. It is imperative for us to take extraordinary measures to ensure the wellbeing of our guests, and our people,” says Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of The Oberoi Group Vikram Oberoi.

 

 

To further support the health and wellbeing of its guests, master chefs across the organisation have researched and developed menus comprising of immunity building wellness dishes and drinks, available at each of the hotels. Hotels will additionally ensure their fleet of hotel owned and operated cars are thoroughly sanitised before and after each trip. The chauffeurs, like all other staff members, have guest care, safety and wellbeing as their most important priority.


The Ritz Carlton Bangalore have increased the frequency of cleaning especially in high-touch areas like associate entrance, locker rooms, laundry rooms, etc. They are also implementing social distancing in the associate dining area with revised seating arrangements. They use specific cleaning and disinfecting protocols to clean our rooms after a guest leaves and before the next guest arrives, with particular attention paid to high-touch items.


Their concierge and chauffeurs will wear masks and gloves throughout their work. All high touch areas in the car will be disinfected before and after every trip. From the door handle to the car seat and mirrors, they will make sure that anything guests are in contact with, is disinfected before pick up or drop.

The Ritz Carlton is also focusing on a contact-less experience. They will provide mobile check-in facility to avoid any contact during arrival of guests, followed by mobile check-out with online payment options. Room servicing will be done in the absence of guests and minimal staff entries into the room. At the restaurants, digital menu with a QR code will be placed on the table to explore the menu with dish and pairing recommendations. 

The Lalit Group of Hotels have also been hosting the medical frontline workers at their hotels in Bengaluru, Mumbai and Delhi. They had to detail and upgrade all the hygiene and safety processes immediately to host the doctors. The Lalit Ashok Bangalore is also a quarantine centre for some guests, therefore their safety and hygiene SOPs were amped immediately.

They are extensively using technology and online services, to minimize human interface. All surfaces (floor, doors, furniture) are sanitized every 30 minutes with 1% Sodium Hypochlorite Solution. There have also been changes in the restaurant seating arrangements to ensure a distance of 6 feet. All guest interface employees at The Lalit properties have been mandated to wear disposable gloves that are changed after every hour.

No more than four people will be in a lift at any time, each occupying a corner and facing the lift wall. Automatic hand sanitizers have been installed in washrooms, lifts and other public areas.

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